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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  July 17, 2020 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT

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seem necessary to say anything. >> just because it seemed so farfetched that it will never go anywhere. >> so farfetched, so clear that he was nothing he had ever claimed to be. but, again, you know, that's from inside the family and inside of the city that knew him well, not how it played in the rest of the country. just a remarkable piece of that remarkable interview. if you happen to miss rachel's interview, i'm sure there are only six of you, but if you happened to miss it or you want to see it again, it was incidentally the highest rated episode of the rachel maddow show ever, it will air again this sunday at 11:00 p.m. eastern on msnbc. rachel herself will be back right here on monday. i will see you monday afternoon at 3:00.
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now it is the time for "the last word". >> like old times getting to talk to you at the end of one show and the beginning of another. nicole, if you don't mind sticking around, i want to talk to you about your impressions about this. you worked with george w. bush who was often widely criticized by the media. it was your job to handle that. but a lot of journalists and a lot of people close to george bush would say, whatever you think of him as president, boy, the guy is fun to be around, he's a kind man. journalists would often say he was fun to cover. it is interesting when you peel back the layers of the onion with donald trump and you just don't get that. how does that translate for you? >> you know, you have just made this point, that only sort of people in politics make to one another. so here's what you have just hit on. donald trump is the only person for whom the family and the people who know him best think less of him than the public.
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i mean, what mary trump said there in that clip that didn't air last night is so revelatory in that they all knew in 2015 when he was running against 16 other republicans that he was unfit, that his appeal to evangelicals was b.s., and i think it's putting it lightly based on what rachel read and that he was a fraud. that's basically what she's saying. that if you were in new york and you were in the family, you knew he was a fraud. >> you knew. >> she said she was totally unaware of how he was perceived outside of new york and outside the family. it is just stunning. >> so then she said, when rachel asked her, that she didn't -- she and others didn't think it necessary to speak at the time because it was so unlikely that he would become president. ironically, that is something she shared with a whole lot of people, a lot of americans, a lot of republicans, a lot of journalists and a lot of pollsters that this isn't likely to happen. and then on november 8th, 2016,
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everybody got a rude awakening. so at this point, with three months and a little bit to go before the election, there are still people who may think it's unlikely he'll win again. but the guy keeps pulling rabbits out of hats. >> you know, i think i have had this conversation probably with too many people in our boat, who are a wash in revelations, in news and in information, and i think that the difference between a family member speaking out and a former cabinet secretary or former staffer is that everyone has got family. and whether you have good relationships with nieces or nephews or aunts or uncles or estranged cousins, they're family and they just know a side of you. and you see this more in celebrity culture frankly than in politics. but they do know a side of you that always gets attention for a reason. they either know your values, they know you from your childhood, they know secrets. so i think this mary trump story
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and no matter what side of the trump divide, i think she will breakthrough. he has fulfilled her worst fears. >> yeah. nicole, my friend, it is great to see you as always. thank you for everything you do and have yourself a fantastic weekend, friend. >> i'm going to go upstairs and watch you with some mommy water. >> thank you, my friend. to nicole's point mary trump is compelling. i know some of you are thinking, so what? what is another book that came out knocking the president? you are not all that surprised by a lot of what mary trump has to say. i think nicole hit on something. what makes this book different? here is what i think makes the book different, judgment and leadership. it's really what mary trump's book is about. judgment and leadership. other books, mostly as nicole
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said from former cabinet secretaries, people who worked with trump, they're full of observations about the president that we all observed together. we hear about it the next day in the times or the post. but mary trump is giving us the long-standing evidence that donald trump never possessed the judgment or the leadership ability to be the president of the united states or anything close to that. mary trump has said that watching the nation's leadership evolve into a macro version of my incredibly dysfunctional family was one of the factors that compelled her to write this book. in a new interview with mary trump that just aired tonight on msnbc for the first time, mary trump explains why she didn't speak out during her uncle's first run. >> you talked about the fact that you didn't think it would make a difference for you to speak out at that time. but i wonder if you inside your family either with maryanne or
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other members of your family of what it might do to the country if he was elected. >> no. we didn't. but i think we all -- or those of us who shared those opinions were at a distinct disadvantage because as members of the family and as lifelong new yorkers, we had a completely different perspective on donald and his perceived success than people outside of the family and outside of new york did, which we -- you know, i was not aware that outside of new york he had a completely different, although baseless reputation. so at least that early during the primaries it really didn't seem necessary to say anything.
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>> just because it seemed so farfetched that it will never go anywhere. that's remarkable. >> so farfetched, so clear that he was nothing he had ever claimed to be. but, again, you know, that's from inside the family and inside of the city that knew him well, not how it played in the rest of the country. >> he was nothing he had ever claimed to be. i know you just heard that. mary trump is now saying i have the receipts. this is who he is. and her book is coming out just when the public is realizing for the first time how devastating, not just how bad but how devastating trump's leadership really is. the coronavirus pandemic, the racial strife, the injustice in our nation are laying bare the behaviors we have associated with trump and mary trump writes about, they're actually a danger to us.
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they are a danger to the united states. all the president had to do during this pandemic six months ago, tell people to wear masks, stay apart and shut down for a while. that would have saved lives. it would have saved tens of thousands of lives. but he's not motivated to do that because he doesn't have the proper leadership skills or the empathy to want to help others and save lives. now the public the seeing how much trump's leadership is lacking, they are, in fact, turning away from him. take a look at these numbers from the new washington post abc news poll. just 38% of americans approve of trump's handling of the coronavirus outbreak. 60% disapprove. more than half the public, 52% now disapproves strongly of trump's handling of the outbreak. more than 6 in 10 say they don't trust what he says about the outbreak, including 2 out of 3 independents and nearly 3 in 10 republicans. and trump's worsening ratings reflect a drop among some groups that have been core parts of his
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coalition since 2016. trump's ratings for handling the coronavirus have dropped by 16 points among white protestants, by 15 points with white men without a college education. everyone is leaning away from trump. even some of his core supporters. because people are realizing that he just can't deliver. he's not helping save lives. he doesn't care about minimum wage workers. all of this goes well beyond the pandemic. people are seeing now that if trump couldn't fix our nation's problems when the going is good, he couldn't face it with the crisis we face. almost everyone has left him. and now mary trump is putting a face to that growing understanding of the president's basic inabilities. he's helping all of us understand the way his uncle's specific impediments.
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wendy sherman, former undersecretary of state for political affairs and the author of "not for the faint of heart: lessons in courage, power and persistence." and a former deputy chief of staff to president clinton. welcome to both of you. good to see you. maria, let me just start with you. donald trump as described by mary trump, not all that different from what most of us would think, but she talks about incessant lying, his failure to take responsibility, his narcissism. i think the difference is here she talks about it from the beginning. and it all fits together. there is nothing shocking or surprising, but there is something validating about her book. >> well, what's validating about it is she's giving us explanations. she's giving us the basis of how
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he became the person that he is, and we have been living with his behaviors, with all of these traits for the last three and a half years, but this pandemic and this moment of racial reckoning is showing how dangerous as her title shows dangerous man because he's endangering our country and the lives of really millions of americans. and, so, it is an explanation, but it is not a surprise. >> wendy, you know, there are people who have said since the beginning of trump's term that can't really dismantle american democracy. you can't dismantle our institutions. boy has he tried. there is real damage that's being done. but now in this last six months, we have seen a level of damage that was unforeseen, unforeseeable. the idea that people have actually died because of simple mismanagement of something that almost every other global leader
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has done. they followed a couple basic rules and people in other countries have flattened this curve. this is real danger and it seems like it is registering with americans. >> i think so. i think it is incredibly devastating and destructive. you know, we teach students how to be principaled effective just public leaders, and in a global health crisis, you want someone who will listen to the science, who will collaborate with others like doctors will tell you the good news, tell you the bad news, what the prognosis is, what you need to do to get healthy, deal with hard things, give us clear guidance. and mary trump has told us what we all knew inherently from our own experience but now haknow tt donald trump cannot do any of those things. he has also undermined trust in government. when you have got a health crisis and an economic crisis and a racial justice crisis, you
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need someone who is steady where it's not bravado, it's real confidence. it is not arrogance. it is really someone who can be effective. and she has pointed this out in no uncertain terms as someone who has known him all of her life. we all have somebody in our family who is filled with bravado and airs, and those are the people that might be interesting dinner conversation with but we don't want them to be our leaders. >> right. >> and now people are dying as a result of it. >> and what's interesting, maria, is, you're right, we all know people like that but they don't control the levers of power. a lot of people have wondered what are those levers of power really. how much damage can you do as the president of the united states? but the pandemic showed us the kind of damage you can do and then the social justice moments, a failure to respond adequately to that continues to show us how
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much damage you can do. >> well, he's totally shown that leadership matters and those of us like wendy and i who have actually been in those offices and trying to advise the president, you understand that you have to provide conversation, all different points of views and present the evidence to help the president make the tough decisions because those jobs are really, really hard. only the hard decisions get to the president. and what we have seen with the way this white house starting at the top is that they're not interested in the facts. they're not interested in the science. it is a very narrow view. it's all about him. and to have the fate of, you know, over 300 million americans rest on the decisions of a person who only cares about himself, it's terrifying. and the american public is
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seeing that it matters who runs your government. and it's just every day, every day he keeps making decisions, undermining the cdc, changing data collection, all the things that are important for how we're going to manage not just this pandemic, but the economic crisis that is hitting community after community and of course at a time when we need leadership to bring the country together to say, yes, this is a moment to deal with the racial injustice that has been with us for 400 years. he's exacerbated and appealed only to white supremacists. >> wendy, let me ask you. just picking up on what maria said, there is two parts to this. there is the one part where you say, wow, i realize donald trump is not the right guy for this job, but that job he has not been able to do, will it reflect
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people's understanding that they have to go out and choose somebody who will? in other words, can you not throw the bath water out with the baby? >> i think you're seeing that in the polling numbers that you just showed all of us where people -- this is not a circumstance that people aren't feeling in their day-to-day lives. you can't be with your family in normal ways. my grandsons have been where i am right now, but we can't stay together. we have to be at a distance from each other. we can't hug each other. so families are feeling this in a very present way. they are having family members who died. we know our communities of color are feeling this with even greater consequence than the rest of us are. areas of social injustice where we have health disparities and disparities in our streets, disparities in our criminal justice system, economic disparities where people's unemployment checks are going to
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run out. some of the very people that were donald trump supporters are now finding out, as the governor in oklahoma did, that they, too, can get covid, that their government is not doing what it needs to do. as you said at the beginning, imagine if we were all wearing masks, if the defense production act had been invoked or ppe, if we all social distanced, washed our hands, if bars were closed down, we might be able to open our schools carefully, scientifically. there isn't a parent in the world who doesn't want their children to go back to school. they just want to make sure it's safe and they want to make sure the bus drivers, the school nurses, the teachers are safe as well. >> thank you to both of you for helping me kick this off tonight. coming up, we will take a closer look at what's happening with the pandemic as well. the united states set a record case. more than 73,000 breaking
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yesterday's record. more on that next. we could never do what they do. but what we can do it be a partner that never quits. verizon is the most reliable network in america. built for interoperability and puts first responders first, giving their calls priority, 24/7. we do what we do best so they can too. and still going for my best. even though i live with a higher risk of stroke due to afib... ...not caused by a heart valve problem. so if there's a better treatment than warfarin, i want that too. eliquis. eliquis is proven to reduce stroke risk better than warfarin. plus has significantly less major bleeding than warfarin. eliquis is fda-approved and has both.
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tonight the united states is at a critical and dire function in our fight against coronavirus, precisely because the trump administration has squandered every opportunity to ensure our survival and well-being. every day it becomes more evident that this deadly nightmare did not have to be as severe and prolonged as it is. today the united states didn't have to set the new world record for cases for the second consecutive day. today the united states does not have to be the world leader in deaths from coronavirus. but we are. because donald trump and his administration have abdicated its responsibility to focus on what can save us and what can save us is exemplified in countries that are successfully beating this pandemic back.
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unlike us, those countries had a nationwide strategy, to implement basic measures, including requiring masks and social distancing. widespread and rapid testing, contact tracing and above all prioritizing science over politics. the truth of what can save us is smacking the trump administration in the face. but they don't want to see it. four months ago in mid march, the administration released a plan. they asked you to, quote, do your part to slow the spread of the coronavirus. but the administration did not do its part to slow the spread of coronavirus. they didn't stick to that plan. they basically abandoned their efforts. they gave up. donald trump got distracted with his ego and racist campaign rhetoric. but his actions and his words, donald trump undermining every day any progress that we could be making to save lives by trying to obscure essential data, by suppressing or watering down cdc guidelines, but
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spreading dangerous and absurd information, by trying to undermine anthony fauci who unlike trump is working tirelessly to control this pandemic. even some republican governors had to go around this administration to protect their own people. the seven day average of new deaths from coronavirus from the united states has increased by 31%. remember a few weeks ago when trump implied this is some kind of new manifestation of coronavirus that is less lethal, that the numbers were up because we're testing more. the united states has suffered . a quarter million people in the united states may be dead from coronavirus by election day. joining me now a cupulitzer winner. when we first started talking
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about this, there was no coronavirus in the united states. there wasn't a single case. there were certainly no deaths. donald trump said it was going to go to zero. you said back then there are things we can do. it is not high science. my family in canada, it is not perfect how they handled it, but they masked and social distanced and flattened the curve. we have not been able to get close to this. >> you know, i was just looking at the numbers, and on july 1st, we, for the first time, had 50,000 new cases in a single day. so in 16 days, we have gone from 50,000 to almost 75,000. you know, people were shocked, what, ten days ago when tony fauci said in the senate hearings we could reach 100,000 new cases daily. well, we're going to be there and we will probably be there before the end of this month. and i have long said that we
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unfortunately were going to reach 200,000 dead americans before labor day. yale university did a survey of all cases in the united states from early march through the end of may and estimated they were underreported by 30%, the deaths were. so if you do that math to our current total and allow for 30% underreporting, we're already at 180,000 americans who have lost their lives due to this virus and to the incompetence of our response to it. and i want to point out one other thing. you know, we're in this battle over masks. and part of the battle over masks is, you know, younger adults who think, i'm not at risk. it is some old person's risk. it is somebody else's risk. it's not mine. it turns out that the highest level of virus in your body, the
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highest level based on testing hundreds of people over a long period of time here in new york done at nyu just published, the highest viral load in your body is when you have no symptoms at all. >> wow. >> that person wandering around saying, i feel fine. what's the big deal is actually shedding virus actively and has so much virus in their bodies that their immune system is bewilder bewildered, is overwhelmed. this is science trying to say what is an appropriate policy. if you don't have policies that are uniform across america that say to everybody, regardless of your age, you must go with the program, we all have a duty acid sev acid seve as sit krcitizens as assuredly
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get a driver's license before you get behind the wheel of a car. this is just being a decent citizen. and unfortunately our governments at the federal level and at many state and local levels are political leaders just have abdicated their role and put no pressure out for civic responsibility from the population. >> let me ask you about testing. we tested 42.2 million people so far. that's about 13.4% of the population. results for diagnostic tests are actually averaging about seven days. that actually messes things up on the contact tracing part. if you are taking seven days to test, so let's say you think you might have covid. you might have been exposed or you have symptoms, but you don't get the results for seven days, it sort of messes up the eighty to ability to effectively contract trace. >> there is two problems with contact tracing right now.
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one is that the tests we are getting are increasingly positive coming back saying, yes, you are infected. that's very bad news. we're up at around 9% nationwide are testing positive. the second problem is that we don't have any strategy to the testing. it is just completely random. whoever gets in their car and cues up in arizona, whoever goes to the walmart parking lot, it's completely random. and, so, when we do get test results, it is hard to get to know what to make of it. as you say, we can't really do anything to slow the epidemic using those test results because they come too late in the game. so, you know, if i right now went out and got a test a week from now we might be on the air together and i might say, gee, i just found out i tested positive and during that week i was in contact with this person, this person, this person and here goes this list, right? too late to do anything about it.
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too late to do contact tracing. too late to intervene for my test results to result in protecting the others. now, this comes back to the same problem we were just talking about, this notion of civic responsibility. because if you think testing is just about you and the only reason you are getting a test is to find out are you positive or negative, then it is an individualistic exercise and in the end not useful. if you don't have symptoms and you don't get sick, what does find out you were positive for a test mean to you? we need to understand that the real duty here is to have tests that are designed properly for guidance for policy and that you are participating in it as an exercise for the larger society, to help us know where is the virus, how is it spreading, who is at risk, how can we intervene, what makes a difference, is it safe to open
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this school, is it safe to open this department store? and we're not doing any of that. >> i remember when someone was telling my boy, she's heated about this. thank you for being heated about it from the beginning. i'm sorry we talk as often as we do. coming up, several federal law enforcement officers picking up protesters in unmarked vehicles. it is happening in america. why are they there? oregon's governor says it is an extraordinary abuse of power and wants them out. that's next. don't just think about where you're headed this summer. think about how you'll get there. and now that you can lease or buy a new lincoln remotely or in person... discovering that feeling has never been more effortless.
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federal officers in camouflage dressed in tactical gear refusing to identify themselves. protesters thrown into unmarked vehicles without explanation. if this happened in another country, we could condemn the actions in the strongest
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possible terms, but this week it's happening in portland, oregon. according to oregon public broadcasting, the tactic appears to be another escalation in federal force as federal officials and president donald trump have said they plan to quell nightly protests outside the federal courthouse that have lasted for more than six weeks. >> protesters have demonstrated in portland every night since the death of george floyd on may 25th. while most protesters are peaceful, small groups have clashed with authorities. federal officers were sent to portland in an effort to control those disruptive protesters, but their efforts only increased. clashes across the city with federal officers dispersing tear gas and impact ammunitions on protesters. acting secretary of homeland security chad wolf made a trip to portland hours after issuing a statement calling the protesters lawless an nar kiar
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>> we have the violent protesters coming in, targeting federal buildings. our law enforcement officers are going to respond in kind. they have been judicious in that. they are getting attacked night after night after night. >> it's unclear which agencies were involved in the confrontation. that's part of the issue because officers from u.s. customs and border protection have been dispatched to portland. the mayor says he never asked for help saying their presence is irresponsible and escalating an already tense situation. oregon's democratic governor kate brown says she's asked for all federal officers to withdraw from portland. here is what she told chris hayes earlier tonight. >> americans ought to be outraged. this is absolutely unacceptable. this was purely a photo opportunity for political theater for the trump
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administration. they're not interested in problem solving. they only want to escalate. they want to dominate the streets and they want to score political points with their base. >> now members of oregon's congressional legislation are calling for an investigation. the congressman calling for that join us right after a break. ingt join us right after a break. everyone does -- right up here. it happens to all of us. we buy a new home, and we turn into our parents. what i do is help new homeowners overcome this. what is that, an adjustable spanner? good choice, steve. okay, don't forget you're not assisting him. you hired him. if you have nowhere to sit, you have too many. who else reads books about submarines? my dad. yeah. oh, those are -- progressive can't protect you from becoming your parents, but we can protect your home and auto when you bundle with us. look at that.
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with herbal ashwagandas help turn the stress life into your best life live like a stress baller with stressballs we have done a great job in portland. portland was totally out of control. they went in, and i guess we have many people right now in jail and we very much quelled it. and if it starts again, we'll quell it again very easily. it's not hard to do if you know what you are doing. >> that was donald trump on monday. today charlie pierce wrote a major american city is being softly pinochet in broad
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daylight. joining us now democratic congressman representing oregon's third district, which includes much of portland. congressman, thank you for being with us. the governor of your state said that this doesn't solve any problems. it's ka la escalates the situat. we have been watching them engage with protesters. in the vast majority of cases, it has inflamed the situation as opposed to calmed it. >> absolutely. and that's the case here. a dramatic overreaction. the storm trooper tactics. luckily it is all on video. people can see for a fact that there isn't any large menacing crowd riot.
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there is an innocent bystander who rolled a tear gas canister that was thrown his way, shot by non-lethal weapon, fractured his skull. this is outrageous. and if donald trump knew what he was doing, maybe he would be helpful. but i think it is a deliberate effort to make this situation worse. they have certainly managed to do that in portland. >> donald trump tweeted about this. it is a federal crime. liberal governors and mayors must get much tougher or the federal government will step in and do what has to be done. i guess this works for some people in his base, but it is really not what most people think the u.s. military is for. >> absolutely. absolutely. and, in fact, what we have seen here in portland, things have been challenging in the past.
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things have been quieted down. but moving in here unlimited force, things like taking bystanders with people who are not clearly identified of who they are, not identified, shoving them into unmarked cars and taking them away, this is a banana republic. this is something that is not calculated to calm a different situation, and we don't need it. our governor, our mayor, the congressional delegation has no interest in having this outside interference with people who are not trained in trying to help keep the peace and instead are inflaming the situation. >> you know, charlie pierce used the word pinocheting. you see these officers. i don't know what to call them because we don't know entirely who they are. they could be from different federal organizations. the cars, they're using unmarked
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vehicles. we just saw one here on the screen. if this is a legitimate law enforcement effort, none of that would have to happen. law enforcement is supposed to identify themselves, have numbers. the cars say police or national guard or military on them. this is very unusual that it seems to be these secretive tactics. >> absolutely. if you are interested in keeping the peace and helping with law enforcement, you would coordinate with the local police, with the local authorities. they're not there at our invitation. they made no effort to work with us in a cooperative fashion. and things that are recorded on video that people can see for themselves have no place in the streets of america's cities. >> what do we do about the accountability issue? one of the reasons that police have badges is that you can identify them. these people are masked. they're in full combat gear.
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do you think there is an effort here to escape accountability? >> absolutely. this is the -- the operating mode of the trump administration, negating responsibility, maybe trying to deflect attention from things that are his responsibility like dealing with the pandemic and coronavirus. and instead having an opportunity here for people intervening in a way that is just -- it's scandalous. we are going to work to try and have legislation to try to bring this in, limit the powers, have an investigation to find out what actually happened to blow the cover off their story. >> congressman, good to see you. thank you for joining us. representing the third district which includes much of portland. thank you for joining me, sir. coming up, reverend al sharpton is our guest. the cry echoed by george floyd
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under a police officer's knee just seven weeks ago that sparked massive protests across this country. reverend al is getting the last word on the steps forward that america has taken since and what justice still must be done. allstate won't raise your rates just because of an accident. cut! is that good? no you were talking about allstate and... i just... when i... accident forgiveness from allstate. click or call for a quote today. wow. jim could youness ipop the hood for us?? there she is. -turbocharged, right? yes it is. jim, could you uh kick the tires? oh yes. can you change the color inside the car? oh sure. how about blue? that's more cyan but. jump in the back seat, jim. act like my kids. how much longer? -exactly how they sound. it's got massaging seats too, right? oh yeahhhhh. -oh yeahhhhh. visit the mercedes-benz summer event or shop online at participating dealers. get 0% apr financing up to 36 months on select new and certified pre-owned models. (groans) hmph... (food grunting menacingly)
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i can't breathe. those words have taken a long but powerful journey from six years ago when eric garner pleaded "i can't breathe" a dozen times to new york city police officers while in a choke hold to seven weeks ago when george floyd begged "i can't breathe" at least 28 times with a police officer's knee pressed into his neck. eric garner's mother told "the new york daily news," quote, it's like a boomerang, george floyd used the same words my son said six years ago and now the cry is "i can't breathe" again. nearly two months after the killing of george floyd sparks nationwide protests, the city of minneapolis declared racism a public health emergency. today the star tribune reports
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that the minneapolis city council unanimously approved a resolution acknowledging how systemic racism has created health and wealth disparities and, quote, vowing to allocate funding and other resources to name, reverse, and repair the harm done, quote, to people of color in the city. and today we learned new details about the death of breonna taylor. the louisville post-courier reports that according to her boyfriend, breonna taylor was alive for several minutes after police shot her five times and for more than 20 minutes after taylor was fatally shot, taylor, 26, lay where she fell in her hallway, receiving no medical attention according to dispatch logs. none of the officers involved in that have been charged with a crime. earlier this week, friends, family, and classmates said good-bye to 17-year-old brandon hendricks ellison, a high school graduate with several basketball scholarships who was shot and killed by a stray bullet in the bronx last month. a suspect has been charged with murder. in his eulogy, reverend al
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sharpton said that the black lives matter movement shouldn't only focus on fighting to end police brutality. it also has to be about fighting to end the gun violence that has taken so many black lives like brandon's. >> we are our brother's keeper, and we can't keep our brothers till we do something about the violence in our community. we can't do something until we learn to respect every one of us because the way to teach america that black lives matter is to make it matter to each other first. we have got to put value on our lives whether it's gun violence or police violence. enough is enough, and we are the ones that are going to have to do it. >> joining me now, reverend al sharpton, host of msnbc's politics nation and founder and president of the national action network. reverend, good to see you again, sir. this is a tricky line because it is a conservative talking point that people in the black
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community kill their own at a rate faster or higher than what police do. you're making a different point. you're saying that if black lives matter, black lives matter across the board, and that doesn't lessen the argument against police brutality. >> no, and i do not think it's tricky. the fact is that it is the conservatives that keep the gun laws so that they have the gun manufacturers and gun distributors inundating our community with these guns and these bullets. i said in the eulogy, kids in the south bronx or on the south side of chicago, west side of chicago don't have gun manufacturing companies. the reason that we have a gun violence problem is because we allow gun manufacturers to continue to make these guns and inundate our communities with them. and it is in a desperate situation, a way that some people take guns and use them.
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they couldn't use guns that were not available to them. so you can't say that we're concerned to have compassion about one life and not the other. that is why we fought for eric garner and george floyd. i did the eulogies for both of them, and that is why i did the eulogy for brandon. in fact, eric garner's mother attended the funeral with me that i did the eulogy for brandon because there is no contradiction to say we must have government that gives us the proper laws for policing and for gun manufacturing and distributing. you've got to remember, ali, we don't even have a background check law. so what causes the institutional neglect of police getting away with choke holds gives the institutional neglect to the nra and others to operate with no accountability around the manufacturing and distribution of guns. >> reverend, you've been at this for a long time. are you hopeful about what you've seen in the last seven
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weeks? there seems to be a different and palpable air in america not just amongst the african-american community but amongst all americans that, boy, this problem that people like you have been talking about for decades is real. we're all a part of this, and whether or not you accept blame for it, you accept responsibility for the idea that this has to change. >> absolutely i'm hopeful. i see more people involved. i see a lot of state legislators begin to operate. i remember when we started the eric garner movement six years ago, who was killed six years ago today, when we said make choke holds illegal in the state. they said it was outrageous. well, a few weeks ago, the governor of new york, andrew cuomo, signed a bill, the eric garner law, where it is illegal. now we are fighting to make it federal law. we're having a national march in washington on august 28th around federal laws on policing and around federal laws on voting.
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so movements take time. you are not going to be a sprinter if you're going to be effective. you're going to be a marathon activist, not a sprinter activist. it took nine years from the 55 montgomery bus boycott to the '64 civil rights act. so, yes, it's taken time, but movements always do. but if you believe in what you're doing and the righteousness of it, it will take place, and you will be victorious. >> reverend, i just want to play for you an interview that the president did with cbs' catherine herridge this week when she asked him about police killings of african-americans. here's what happened. >> let's talk about george floyd. you said george floyd's death was a terrible thing. >> terrible. >> why are african-americans still dying at the hands of law enforcement in this country? >> and so are white people. so are white people. what a terrible question to ask. so are white people.
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more white people by the way. more white people. >> so that's -- that's a bit of a math and conceptual problem. by numbers more white people die at the hands of police, but white people are 60% of the population. african-americans are a much smaller percentage. so as a rate, african-americans are killed at something like three times the rate of white people at the hands of police. >> absolutely. any number of studies show that black americans are killed by police 3 to 3.5 times more than white. but the real question you have to ask yourself is why are whites or blacks being killed unjustifiably by police? he's making a comparison that first of all doesn't only fit numerical. he shows no concern about the accountability of white police killing anyone if it is not justified. that's why we need federal law. and the fact that he is so dismissive of black lives and so
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dismissive of the movement around george floyd that all of us are participating in out front in, shows the president has a callous disregard for the lives of people that we're talking about, which is why these movements continue and are very necessary. >> rev, in minneapolis today, the city council declared racism a public health emergency. now, for some people they'd say, how does that square? but actually for a lot of black americans, it's kind of how they see it. like it is actually hazardous to your health as we saw with rashard brooks to be pulled over in a car in a wendy's parking lot. >> it is absolutely hazardous to your health if you're black and you can be shot in the black as rashard brooks was. clearly they had his license. they had his information. they could have waited and went to his home. they could have done any number of things, but they decided that he could be shot because they thought they could get away with
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it, or if you are any number of the cases that we're looking at. breonna taylor. so clearly it is hazardous to your health, and in many ways even in the health area itself, the disparity of health care shows that being black is hazardous in the middle of a pandemic. >> yep. my friend, thank you for joining me tonight. it's always good to see you. the can catch reverend al on politics nation on weekends starting at 5:00 p.m. eastern. that's tonight's last word. y "the 11th hour" with brian williams begins now. and good evening once again. day 1,275 of the trump administration. 109 days to go until our presidential election. as we come on the air tonight, "the washington post" is on the board with a new story, a report out this evening that offers a very telling portrait


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